I just picked up a Kronos 2, and I am trying to find or create a piano patch that sounds natural (as opposed to one that sounds like a digital recording of a piano). I was hoping to use or modify something in the stock soundset, but am having not the best time of it. I searched on the web and noticed there are a few aftermarket sounds available, but thought I would reach out to the piano world community and see if anyone has any incite to offer. I do not have Korgs latest Italian Grand, as it seems expensive, and it's not clear to me how it is an upgrade on realism over the Berlin or German Grands.
Has anyone experience with the KAPro (or other third party) offerings? This question relates
to pianos that can run inside of the Kronos, not VSTs or PianoTeq.
Also do any of you have advanced tweaking parameters that you could share for Kronos. Mainly, I would like to gain a sound that I could comfortably lose myself in, during solo sessions, or duet. Also if you could share your key action parameters and eq or effects ideas, I would be grateful. ðŸ˜Š
I play advanced classical solo piano repertoire every day on my Kronos. Different people, different tastes, but to me after testing everything available in demo mode (Korg and third party stuff), my two favorites are the Berlin (Bechstein) and the Italian (Fazioli). I also think the German (Steinway) can still be good for certain purposes sometimes. For dark pieces and intense dynamics, the Bechstein is obviously the best. On the other hand, certain lighter-mood pieces can sound very good with the Fazioli, which also offers a very good dynamic response. The Steinway is more static in dynamics, which can also suit certain works, classical or other styles.
I bought the Italian while on sale. If Korg still promote their libraries like the previous years, there will be another sale soon (often Black Friday or near Christmas time). Since I bought the Italian, I got rid of the Japanese/Yamaha one, which immediately became useless to my ears. Also, the Fazioli/Italian offers a killer honky tonk program.
For tweaking, there are infinite possibilities. I have created several ones for my needs in both SGX-2 and HD-1 modes. It all depends what are your ideal views of what an acoustic piano should be. HD-1 mode offers even more flexibility depending on what you need, whereas SGX-2 can bring other qualities looked after for particular scenarios.
I tried many pianos from third parties and never found one that I thought I should keep or buy. The Korg libraries are the best available IMHO, probably because nobody can know better than them how to sample and record their libraries according to how the Kronos internals work.
Bosendorf, have you ever tried the Vienna grand (Bosendorfer) piano? I tried it as a trial once and it seemed very nice - especially for those dark tones. I like the Bechstein grand, mostly, but don't you find there are some strange notes around f#-g#, just below middle c? Those notes were enough to turn me off the Berlin grand.
I also haven't bothered with 3rd party products because as far as I know, they don't use the Kronos piano engine and therefore can't generate the resonances that the Korg pianos can. But maybe that's not the case? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that.
If you are referring to the Austrian grand from Korg for the BÃ¶sendorfer, the sound is nice but unfortunately certain notes were sampled a few cents off the others on certain velocity layers, with the result that you sometimes end up with a strange unwanted chorus effect a la Yamaha CP-80. If it would be free, I would know how to fix that but it's a time consuming solution.
About the Berlin/Bechstein sound discrepancies for a few keys, they don't bother me so much as the problem here is more about uneven timbre/amplitude rather than pitch errors. Again, everyone is different and I've read others couldn't stand this problem either. I guess I'm used to real acoustic grands, so I'm OK with that - many acoustic pianos have their own strange noises, sound artefacts and overtones on a few keys. I conclude that Korg probably sampled that Bechstein with great precision, including the little faults. I much prefer that actually that all those piano sample sets which sound sterile after being too "purified".
Since Korg Grandstage have the same piano sample size and engine as Kronos, my favourites are, in that order: Italian (bright and punchy), Berlin (more intimate), German, Japanese. I found Austrian to have terrible level of noise, when playing many chords with pedal depressed.
There is a free Yamaha C5 (based on the Salamander Grand) you can download for the Kronos.
Demo and download link herehttps://youtu.be/WqqL144Kxh0
This one is definlitely worth trying out.